Are you an employer looking for insights on your rights and how to handle employment matters? Below are some of the many aspects of employment law we assist employers with on a regular basis:
Human Rights Compliance & Litigation
The human rights legislation, combined with employment equity, has prohibited employers from adopting or unintentionally using discriminatory hiring, dismissal/termination practices, and workplace policies. An example of adverse effect discrimination is scheduling against a person’s religious holiday, such as having mandatory rotating shifts on Friday and Saturday, even though some employees observe the Sabbath on Saturday.
Employment Contracts Preparation or Review
At Zeilikman Law, we understand the importance of drafting contracts that are clear and concise. Our lawyers can help draft employment contracts and other agreements that comply with legal requirements and statues while meeting the employer’s requests.
Sexual & General Harassment Prevention & Litigation
Sexual harassment is defined as comments or conducts against an employee due to that employee’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression. In the case of sexual harassment, the comments or conduct is known or reasonably ought to be known as unwelcome. Employers have a responsibility to ensure that the work environment is free from sexual harassment.
Employment Standards Compliance & Litigation
In Ontario, many employers are required to abide by the basic obligations, which are set out in the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”). These basic requirements involve hours of work, overtime, vacation entitlement, public holidays, leaves of absence, deductions from wages, internship, minimum wage, keeping records, etc.
Leave of Absence & Absenteeism Management
Employers are required under the Employment Standards Act to accommodate time off work for reasons such as pregnancy, parental leave, personal emergency (sick days), family caregiver, family medical, critical illness, etc. As an employer, it is important to ensure that all regulations relating to leaves of absence are properly abided by, such as when medical notes supporting a leave can and cannot be required.
Ministry of Labour Complaints
Employees that are covered under the Employment Standards Act(ESA) can file a claim with the Ministry of Labour if they believe that their employer is not complying with the law. An individual can make a complaint to the Ministry of Labour by calling the Ministry’s Health and Safety Contact Centre.
Termination for Cause
In employment, the term “termination for cause” is a last-resort remedy. It is also sometimes referred to as the “capital punishment” of employment and labour law. Termination for cause occurs where the employer dismisses an employee without providing notice of dismissal or a severance package, as there is an alleged “cause” for the termination.
Wrongful Dismissal Litigation
Under the Employment Standards Act, an employer does not have to give an employee reason as to why their employment is being terminated. In most cases, if an employee has been continuously employed for three months or longer, the employer must provide the employee with written notice of termination, termination pay or a combination of both and, where applicable severance pay to terminate their employment.
Strategies Concerning Exit Agreements or Termination Packages
The purpose of an exit agreement is to protect both parties, the employer and the employee from the risk of future legal action. These agreements are legally binding, given that their terms and conditions meet the necessary legal requirements of a contract.
A restructuring or reorganization of a company can include rethinking its reporting hierarchies, adding/eliminating or merging jobs, clarifying roles and responsibilities, realigning a brand or the products which are offered, building the skills of the managers, downsizing of the company, merging with other companies or organizations, and/or changing a department or corporate structure.
Workplace Conflict Prevention
Conflict in the workplace is inevitable. However, the manner in which it is dealt with is very important. As an employer, it is essential to be able to identify, understand, and effectively manage conflict in the workplace.
Arbitration is an alternative dispute resolution process used when there is a dispute over the issue being resolved by an impartial third party. Most arbitration cases in Ontario are governed by the Arbitration Act, 1991 (“Act”), and decisions made by the arbitrator are final and binding either by agreement by the parties or the governing legislation.
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process used to resolve numerous types of employment disputes, such as wrongful dismissal claims. When mediation happens, the difference between a successful and unsuccessful mediation comes down to the parties’ preparation and willingness to settle.
Sale of Business or Mergers of Business
Buying or selling a commercial operation can be a complicated and multifaceted matter for any business, regardless of its size. When selling a business, concerns can be raised regarding the limiting of future liability and securing payment of the purchase price on the part of the vendor.
Competing Former Employees
When an employee leaves their position, who may have had access to sensitive information, it can create legitimate concerns for the employer. This concern becomes greater when that employee then competes with his or her former employer or becomes employed or otherwise engaged with a competitor of his or her former employer.
Trials & Appeals
Our experienced lawyers are comfortable inside courtrooms. Whether going through a trial or appeal, we understand that going to court may be your last resort. However, at times when there is a workplace dispute with an employer, which cannot be resolved through alternative dispute resolution methods, litigation may be required.